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Hunting And Fishing New Zealand Calls For Government Halt To Tahr Cull And Get Back Around The Table

New Zealand’s largest outdoor recreational retailer, Hunting & Fishing New Zealand, today called on the Government to immediately halt its controversial tahr culling programme, get back around the table and work constructively with interested parties to find a long-term solution.

Hunting and Fishing New Zealand Chief Executive Darren Jacobs says it was extremely disappointing that the Government has pushed ahead with the cull despite the legitimate concerns from hunters, tourist operators and businesses.

“This cull will have a devastating impact on the South Island’s commercial tahr hunting businesses at the very time they are trying to respond to the economic shock of COVID-19. This cull will cost jobs and livelihoods, and jeopardises the $100 million that the hunting industry is estimated to inject directly into New Zealand’s economy,” says Jacobs.

“Certainly, some of our southern franchisees are expressing concerns around the long-term impact this cull will have on their business, at a time when they are still recovering from the impact of lockdown.

“We simply ask the Government to show some goodwill, hit the pause button and allow all parties to come together and genuinely discuss a solution that will see the tahr population controlled and jobs, business and our unique environment protected.”

Jacobs says he was increasingly concerned that Government was viewing hunters as the enemy rather viewing them as part of the solution.

“We all agree that the tahr population needs to be managed. Unlike the ideological approach that has been adopted, common sense would see the Department of Conservation focussing on the cull of female and juvenile tahr, with a clear expectation that hunters need to get out and control the bull tahr population, which is considered a trophy animal,” says Jacobs.

“This approach works. Over the past three years collaboration between the Department of Conversation and the hunting community has reduced the tahr population by more than 18,000. This has been done through official control, as well as commercial and recreational hunting.

“Estimates shows there is now a breeding nanny population of about only 5,000. By keeping this nanny population under control, we can keep the wider tahr population under control but still enjoy the economic benefits commercial and recreational tahr hunting provides.

“We need to remember that tahr have been in the South Island high country for over 100 years. We don’t need to wipe out tahr from our National Parks, where they have been since the turn of last century, but we do need to control them,” explains Jacobs.

“Let’s do the necessary research, get around the table, work together and develop a plan to sort this issue out once and for all.”

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